Some garment sewing – another hobby.

black-white garment

I love to sew, but I don’t usually have much time for it. So I had decided to take the month of December off to sew, do some other crafty things and, of course, enjoy the festivities which included not only Christmas, but the big wedding celebration of my step grandson, Lex, on New year’s day. It was a lovely month. Unfortunately, the day after the wedding, I got sick. The flue or a terrible cold – who knows, but I just felt awful and it took me almost a month to get over it. So now it is back to square one trying to catch-up again and finish everything that was left undone. And I am still sneaking in a nap now and then when I feel I need it.

I did however get several garments sewn. I am so pleased with how they turned out that I want to show  you a few of them,

The first one, the black and white top shown at the top of the page is part of on ensemble of black slacks with a black and white top. The top was made from leftover fabric from another project, what a bonus.

The next one is actually not new, but it was very plain so I jazzed it up a bit with some beads. Sewing beads is not my favorite job, but I was pleased with the result:

white with beads

I love sewing sweaters from knit fabric. It is so forgiving and this one went together very quickly, but looked a bit plain also. Fortunately, I had a good bit of fabric left over and I had seen lots of scarves or neck warmers on Pinterest, so I decided that was just what it needed. You’ll find lots of pictures on Pinterest and some instructions, but mostly it is just draping it over your body to see how it looks. In case you are wondering how I made mine, I am including some quick directions and a sketch to show you.

Here are pictures with and without the scarf:

white knit top

white knit Scarf

And here are the directions:

neck warmer

2 layers, approximately 8″ x 32″ (I used a thin knit lining for one).
Trim the corners at an angle as shown.
Place right sides together.
Sew close to the edge, leaving an opening for turning.
Turn inside out and top stitch along the edge, closing the opening at the same time.
Sew two buttons approximately 5″ and 7″ from the left edge.
Try it on to determine where you want the buttonholes.
Sometimes, buttonholes are hard to sew through thick material, but you can sew large snaps under the buttons instead.

This a very quick little project with lots of variations possible. Great for beginning sewists.

Have fun every one.




Christmas Cheer

WOW! I’s been and still is a busy time, but I did manage to get a Christmas project finished. A small wall hanging (18″ x 23″), stitched on my Bernina 780 using different techniques.Christmas Cheer C

The Christmas branches were sewn with Razzle Dazzle, a heavier than normal thread that had to be wound on the bobbin and therefore stitched from the back. Once that was done I turned it around and free motion  stippled the background from the front. The poinsettia petals and leaves were sewn separately and assembled into flowers and then  later attached to the background to give a 3-D effect. The gold curls are regular embroidery files and stitched directly on the background. The holly leaves were embroidered as free standing applique that were attached by stitching a very narrow satin stich over the center vein so they sort of float over the background as well.

A pattern with full instructions, templates, embroidery files and tips on placement  is available on my website at It does require you to make some decisions on the exact placement of all the elements, but it should not be hard as you have the stitched Christmas branches as a guide. It does not require a large hoop as the branches are stitched on a regular sewing machine, but as they are sewn with a heavier thread you may have to lower the tension on your bobbin a bit or get a second bobbin you use only for bobbin work.

Merry Christmas,


Paper Piecing made easy

If you love the ease of paper piecing and the accurate results you get, but don’t enjoy picking out all the paper pieces in the end, don’t despair. I came across a video that I want to share with you. It explains a method that eliminates that last step. It still uses paper. You just don’t sew through it. Instead of sewing over the printed line, you fold the paper back on the line and sew next to the line. Another improvement is that instead of regular paper that you would secure with either a pin or a dab of washable glue, the video shows to use freezer paper that can be pressed to the fabric to secure it. It all looks so easy. I will definitely give this a try in the future. If you have already tried this method, I would love to see your comments on how you like it.

Here is the link:

Have fun and enjoy your weekend.


Machine embroidery – bobbin work

It’s been quite a busy time again, as usual. I just posted new digital longarm designs to my website and I started to quilt my paper pieced quilt. That in itself is a new adventure as I am quilting it on a new to me system, the Bernina QMatic in my daughter’s shop, Cozy Quilt. The first session was all about finding out about how the system works. I had expert advice from Tammy who works in the shop, but I still only managed to get one block done in that first session. I am sure I’ll get better at it as I get more familiar with the system.

I’ve also been experimenting with bobbin work on my own Bernina at home. I’ve wanted to try it for a long time and had ideas for designs swirling in my head for some time. As you know, heavier threads such as razzle dazzle can’t fit through the needle and have to be wound on the bobbin.  This, of course, has to be stitched from the back of the project and I was looking for an easy method to transfer the design to the reverse side. I found it when I discovered Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. It is very thin, but has a paper backing and can be run through a printer. The paper is then removed and the Fabri-solvy will stick to the back of the project and you can stitch over the lines with regular thread in the needle.  Here is a picture of a little test sample.

xmas branch

Isn’t it pretty? It will be combined with other techniques and become a Christmas wall hanging.

Until next time.


Machine pieced hexagons.



Hexagons are very popular at the moment, especially among people who enjoy sewing by hand. But what about people who do not enjoy handwork? In my last blog, or perhaps it was in my newsletter, I mentioned that I might have found a way to stitch them on a sewing machine. I looked into it a bit more and found indeed a way to do that. It is not exactly the traditional pattern, but it does have hexies.  By adding some triangles, the pieces can be sewn together in rows and then the rows can be stitched together.

I wrote up instructions for a mug rug or a tiny table topper. To enlarge the pattern, all you have to do is add more hexies and triangles or enlarge both the hexagon and the triangle templates by the same percentage. The pattern has a few example on what percentage to use. If you don’t have the software to do that, you can ask a copy shop to do it for you.  Download the pattern by clicking on mug rug, (two pages).

The triangles look best if they are all the same color as they are shared by adjoining hexies. The hexies can be a variety of colors, or will look nice if they are fussy cut from fabric with some interesting images.

I hope you’ll enjoy this little project.

Happy crafting,



Quilt top? … Done!

At least the top is done. Now to finish the pattern and, of course, the quilting.  As usual, it has taken me longer than expected because I have too many projects going at once. And the story of my life, I always under estimate the time needed to do something. Plus there are the pesky little every day tasks like house cleaning and doctor and dental appointments and such that interfere with my creative pursuits.


I named the quilt Tropicana and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I already created the quilting designs for it, but before I can start on the actual quilting I have to first finish my designs for July. By the way, my triangle designs of last month were a big hit and I thank everyone who ordered. I you missed them, they are still on my New Designs page on my website for two days at a great discount. As soon as I post new designs they will be moved to the Triangles page.

Happy quilting,